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Us 40, Libya 28, United States 11, Tripoli 11, Algeria 10, Chris Stevens 8, Washington 8, Clinton 7, Madam 7, Mali 7, Africa 7, Syria 7, North Africa 7, Afghanistan 6, U.s. 6, Pakistan 4, Mullen 4, Obama 4, Sean Smith 4, Tunis 4,
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  FOX News    Americas Newsroom    News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha  
   MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.  

    January 23, 2013
    6:00 - 8:00am PST  

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because the world's biggest challenges deserve even bigger solutions. powerful answers. verizon. to compete on the global stage. what we need are people prepared for the careers of our new economy. by 2025 we could have 20 million jobs without enough college graduates to fill them. that's why at devry university, we're teaming up with companies like cisco to help make sure everyone is ready with the know-how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at devry.edu/knowhow. ♪ >> gretchen: quick reminder. bob massi heading back to florida this month. he'll be hosting a free seminar during our show for all your housing questions. february 7 from 6 to 9:00 a.m. at royal palms yacht club in fort myers, florida. it's free.
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you need to register by e-mail rebuilding your dreams at foxnews.com. >> steve: better hurry. hey, he's going to stick around for the after the show show. you got another number for us, right? >> yeah, that will be fun. >> gretchen: randy houser. three seconds away. >> brian: see you tomorrow. bill: we want to begin with a story of the day and a fox news alert. for the first time since the terror attacks in libya, attacks that hit on september 11th more than four months ago. state state will face questions from in a hearing that will begin at any moment -- secretary of state hillary clinton. the brutal hurd of our u.s. ambassador that night and three other americans. good morning, everybody. it is topic a today. welcome here to "america's newsroom". martha: a lot of tension in that room. we've been waiting for this for a long time. i'm i'm martha maccallum. good morning. for more than four months the families of four americans that were killed are looking for answers.
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they hope to get some of them as this moment unravels right now. we're looking at the scene on capitol hill where she will face grilling from the senate foreign relations committee moments away. bill: we see her for the first time. chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel on the hill. this hearing will begin in a matter of minutes. when it does, mike, what are some of the key answers that these senators want to hear today? >> reporter: lawmakers i talked to say they have a number of fundamental questions they want to ask secretary clinton. for example on the night of the september 11th attack in benghazi what was her personal involvement? they note this facility in benghazi had been attacked on june 6th, three months before the 9/11 attack. they want to know what she knew about that and what she did about. they want to ask why she was not the one to go on the sunday morning political talk shows. instead it was sues san rice blaming a video. heading into these hearings
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there are many, many questions. >> why aren't we spending money to guard americans who put their lives on the line and leave their families and go out to leave for work in the foreign services? shouldn't our priority be to make sure americans are protected first before we give american taxpayer dollars to countries that don't like us very much. >> so far the state department refused to let us know the names of the survivors. state department employees injured in that firefight they should be interviewed and talked to by members of congress. so far that hasn't happened. >> reporter: this first hearing is in the senate foreign relations committee. it ordinarily would be chaired by john kerry. of course he has been nominated to replace secretary clinton. senator bob menendez, senator from knew jersey -- new jersey will wield the gavel have. bill. bill: it is fascinating to see how all of the events of the news ties into not just benghazi but what is happening all over the northern part of africa.
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what is she expected to say about the war on terror and the pursuit of al qaeda? >> reporter: bill, we expect she will talk about essentially all of the attacks that have been on these diplomatic facilities dating back to the 1970s or 1980s even. essentially how it has been a problem spot for both republican and democratic administrations. she is also expected to take responsibility for what happened in benghazi. here's a sample what her, let's go back to the hearing, bill. bill: mike, thank you. this is senator bob menendez out of new jersey, who is beginning his statement and we would anticipate hillary clinton to follow him. let's listen. >> officially seating members. i want to ask unanimous consent of returning members to allow our prospective members to participate in today's hearing. if there is no objections so ordered. madam secretary, let me welcome you and thank you for honoring your commitment
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to come before the committee after the administrative review board's findings. you said you would after the findings were completed and of course you had a bit of an intervening challenge and we're thrilled to see you here today doing well and to take time out of your schedule in these final days to discuss the tragic events that occurred in benghazi on september the 11th and lessons we need to learn from that event to insure all american personnel are fully protected and our embassies fully secure wherever they are. in your tenure as secretary of state and in your appearances before this committee you have always been up front, forthright and energetic in defending our foreign service officers and their needs and i for one commend you for it. unfortunately the tranlic events in benghazi are a sad reminder of the inherent risks that come with diplomatic engagement in
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parts of the world that are struggling to build new governments from what often has been a chaotic situation and underscore the very real courage of the unsung men and women who put their lives at risk to serve this nation's interest in those areas. let me say i respect what you have done during your tenure as second s. secretary of state in representing not only this nation but all of those in our foreign service who are on the diplomatic front line in turbulent and dangerous parts of the globe. it's a reflection of your leadership as well as your patriotism and your abiding belief in the power of our policies to move the world towards democracy, peace and the preservation of human rights. your candor before this committee has been a trademark of your service as secretary of state. i believe every member always welcomed your openness and your cooperation. your letter of de18th to chairman kerry was appreciated by members of both sides as another example of that openness and cooperation. let me say we share your mission here today and that
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we look forward to a constructive dialogue today to learn from the events that occurred in benghazi and to devise policies to better protect the nearly 70,000 men and women serving in d.c. and in more than 275 posts around the world. ambassador chris stevens, sean smith, tyrone woods and glen doherty lost their lives on september 11th, 2012, during terrorist attacks on the special mission benghazi. as a committee we honor their service to our nation and we grieve with their families but we also resolve to take specific actions to prevent foot incidents. we may not be able to prevent every single terror attack in the future but we can and we must make sure that our embassies and employees, starting with high-risk, high threat posts are capable of with standing such an attack. to that end the secretary clinton and the department embraced and agreed to implement all 29 of the
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administrative review board's recommendations. today we'll hear more about the progress the department has made toward implementation of many of the recommendations. but i would add that congress is not without responsibility here. we also have an obligation to do our part to comply with the administrative review board's recommendations. it is my intention to work with the members of the committee and the department in the coming months on legislation that will improve security, and better protect our employees. one of the first and easiest things we can do to insure that the department's contracting rules allow for sufficient flexibility to allow them to quickly make decisions where security is at risk and to hire local guard not only on the basest of the lowest price technically acceptable but on a best value basis to insure that we are not just checking the box when it comes to securing our building and protecting our people. state has this authority through march for afghanistan, pakistan and iraq but value should be a priority in all locations
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and particularly in high-risk environments. we're also looking where sole-source contracting may be appropriate to respond to certain security related contexts. administrative review board also supports expanding the marine security guard program, hiring and equip more diplomatic security personnel and of critical importance authorizing for full funding of embassy construction capital cost sharing program. the capital cost sharing program for embassy construction was created in the aftermath of the 1998 bombings of the u.s. embassies in nairobi and salam that resulted in 224 deaths including 11 american citizens. in the first year it funded construction of 13 new facilities and 11 in 2006 and nine in 2005. nearly every year since fewer facilities have been built than the previous year due to both funding decreases and the fact that the allocations to the account have never been indexed to inflation. costs in the construction industry worldwide have
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risen tremendously. at the current anticipated funding rate for fy-2013 the department estimates it will be able to construct just three new facilities despite the fact that there are a couple of dozen posts that now have been designated high-risk, high threat posts that need replacing right now. but the lessons of benghazi are not only about inadequately resourcing our security operations. it is also about the flow of information between the department and our foreign facilities. within the department itself among all the agencies engaged in international work and between the department and congress. the department should be assessing and regularly designating which posts it considers to be high threat and high-risk. using that information to drive decisions about security and reporting to congress on security conditions at these posts. the ad membership straight tiff review board also makes clear there were failures in benghazi that resulted in an inadequate security posture and that responsibility for these failures was shared by
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washington, by the u.s. embassy in tripoli and by the inexact and nonstatus desing nation of the special miss. this left unclear the security requirements of the mission were or should be and left the staff with limited ability and resources to fix the situation. clearly that needs to change. there are two other crucial points made by the administrative review board that i think deserve attention on a larger scale by members of this committee. first, the our placed emphasis on the growing challenge faced by all american officials operating overseas how to remain active in high-threat environments. how to get out beyond the fortified walls of our facilities to construct conduct the local interaction required for direct diplomacy. how we remain accessible government, civil sector and society while securing our facilities and embassies in this environment. the review board correctly points out that the department has been resource challenged for many years.
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this constrained our mission and led to husbanding of resources to such a degree that restricting the use of resources even for security has become a conditioned response. this is to say that the decisions about security resources being made more on costs than on need and value. and the answer can't be to cut more from other foreign affairs accounts to fund security. that approach fails to recognize that diplomacy and foreign aid are but down payments that yield dividend to us in terms of goodwill open borders for the export of american products, protection of our intellectual property and most importantly cooperation on security and counterterrorism. so there's a a lot to discuss. madam secretary, welcome again. we very much appreciate your time. on a personal note since this is likely to be your last hearing before this committee and your leadership will be missed, i know i spoke for many when i say you've been an outstanding secretary of state and exemplary representative of american foreign policy and american
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values and interests to every leader around the world. you have changed the face of america abroad and extended the hospitable reach of our nation to ordinary citizens in addition to world leaders. during your tenure you have steered us through economic crisis in europe, changing relations with asia, regime change in the arab world are a mow moen to us transition in -- momentous transition in libya and global strength based on economics, rather than arms. i personally appreciate the fact you used your office to aggressively implement sanctions against iran. in addition to these priorities and nearly every trip which you have i think the most traveled secretary in history you also supported, met with and provide ad voice to those individuals that don't live in the limelight. women, children, the lgbt community and religious minorities. made a real difference in the personal lives of so many people and for that you have the thanks of a grateful nation. i know you will not go gently from the world stage
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and i look foreward to working closely with you in the future. we thank you for your service here in the senate and as secretary of state. we welcome you back anytime to talk about the issues of the day recognizing that you may not care to spend anymore time in that chair than you already have but we certainly appreciate your incredible service. with that let me turn to my friend and colleague, the new ranking member of the committee, senator corker. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for your comments and also for following through as we've all discussed to have this hearing today. i want to well many could the new committee members. i know there will be a time for us to talk a little bit about the committee going forward. in many ways this is closing out business from before but i thank you very much again for having this hearing and look forward to working with everybody on the committee. madam secretary, i want to thank you also. i know we had a number of conversations over the last several weeks and actually over the last four years.
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and i want to thank you for coming in today and honoring the commitment that you made some time ago. i know you have had some health issues. are still undergoing and yet you're here today. i think we all do respect the tremendous amount of hard work that you have put forth over the last four years. you probably traveled more than any secretary of state and in history and came at your job in the way we all thought you would, with hard work and diligence and i know all of us appreciate the transparency with which you talk to all of us and candidly irreference from time to time which is much appreciated. i do want to say that benghazi, i think to all of us represents a lot of different things. in some ways the aftermath and in particular of what we saw represents the very worst of washington. you know, the most bizarre
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briefing i think i ever attended was the briefing we had on september 20th, where the intelligence community said more than nothing and it was a bizarre briefing at best. it happened in the middle of a political campaign and obviously there was a lot of spin from the white house, a lot of comments made on both sides of the aisle which heightened a lot of the focus on benghazi. i think it also represented a sclerotic department in many ways made decisions that weren't based on what was best for those in the field. i think it represented in many ways a denial of the world as it really is today. i think after reading the arb it also represented to me a committee that has never done its work or at least in the six years that i have been here, has never done the kind of oversight that this committee ought to do. but i think it also represents an awakening.
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i know that you have known this and i know especially many of the members on this committee have known this, the spiking of the ba and thinking that when usama bin laden was gone that was the end of al qaeda, we know nothing could be further from the truth and the arab spring is actually ushered in a time where al qaeda is on the rise. the world in many ways is more dangerous as we lack a central command and instead have those nodes that are scattered throughout north africa and other places. i think this creates an opportunity for us to develop a policy that really addresses the world as it really is today. and then, thirdly, madam secretary, i know it was a great personal loss to you that chris stevens died in the way that he did and his three colleagues died in the way that they did. i know you know i was on the ground in libya immediately after this and i know you've experienced this and some of
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the other members of the committee have but to look at faces of those on the ground in libya, in a state of shock, people that we sent there, doing expeditionary diplomacy, who felt like they were on a tether and candidly did not have the support from washington they needed to do the things that they needed to do. so i think this is an opportunity for us to examine the systemic failures. i know that you're going to be, as per our conversation last night, as transparent as you have always been. i think this is a great opportunity for the incoming secretary to learn prowhat has happened. and i know that many times political appointees have great difficulties with the bureaucracy that exists within a department or sometimes people feel they can wait you out until the next person comes along. so i think this is an opportunity to for us to look at those failures.
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i think it is an opportunity also as a committee but also as a country to develop a foreign policy that reflects again the dynamics of the region as they really are today. and then lastly, i think this is an opportunity this committee to finally do the work that it should have been doing for years. when you read the arb report and you realize we have never done an authorization of the state department in the six years that i've been here, we've never looked how foreign aid has been spent. we have never done a top to bottom review, i know it is something people like you who come to this position look at something that is healthy and can be done in partnership. i know there was some mention of costs and, i was really disappointed with the arb when the first thing that came out of the mouths of two people that i respect was money, money, money. the fact is this committee would have no idea whether
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the appropriate amount of money is being spent or that could have prevented what happened in benghazi because we've never done an authorization. so i look at this as a tremendous opportunity. i want to close again by thanking you for your service, thanking you for your friendship, thanking you for your transparency, and i certainly look forward to your testimony. i know it will be presented in a way that will be constructive and helpful for in the future. >> thank you, senator corker. with that, madam secretary. we welcome your remarks. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, ranking member. members of the committee both older and new. i'm very grateful for this opportunity and i thank you very much for your patience to give me the chance to come and address these issues with you. as both the chairman and the ranking member have said, the terrorist attacks in benghazi on september 11th,
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2012, that claimed the lives of four brave americans, chris stevens, sean smith, tyrone woods, and glen doherty, are part of a broader, strategic challenge to the united states and our partners in north africa. today i want briefly to offer some context for this challenge, share what we've learned, how we are protecting our people and where we can work together to not only honor our fallen colleagues but continue to champion america's interests and values. any clear-eyed examination of this matter must begin with this sobering fact. since 1988 there have been 19 accountability review boards investigating attacks on american diplomats and their facilitis. benghazi joins a long list of tragedies for our department, for other agencies and for america. hostages taken in tehran in 1979, our embassy and marine barracks bombed in beirut in
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1983, khobar towers in saudi arabia in 1996, our embassies in east africa, 1998. consulate staff murdered in jetta in 2004. the khost attack in 2009 and too many others. since 197765 american diplomatic american personnel have been killed by terrorists. now of course the list of attacks foiled, crises averted and lives saved is even longer. we should never forget that our security professionals get it right more than 99% of the time against difficult odds all over the world. that's why like my predecessors, i literally trust them with my life. let's also remember that administrations of both parties in partnership with congress have made concerted and good faith efforts to learn from these attacks and deaths to implement recommendations from the review boards, to seek the
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necessary resources and to do better in protecting our people from what has become constantly evolving threats. that is the least, the men and women who serve our country deserve. it is what again we're doing now with your help. as secretary i have no higher priority and no greater responsibility. as i have said many times i take responsibility and nobody is more committed to getting this right. i am determined to leave the state department and our country safer, stronger and more secure. now taking responsibility meant moving quickly in those first uncertain hours and days to respond to the immediate crisis, but also to further protect our people and posts in high-threat areas across the region and the world t meant launching an independent investigation to determine exactly what happened in benghazi and to recommend steps for improvement and it meant intensifying our efforts to combat terrorism
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and figure out effective ways to support the he emerging democracies in north africa and beyond. let me share some of the lessons we've learned, the steps we've taken and the work we continue to do. first let's start on the night of september 11th itself and those difficult early days. i directed our response from the state department, stayed in close act with officials from across our government, and the libyan government. so i saw first-hand what ambassador pickering and former chairman mullin called, timely and exceptional coordination. no delays in decision-making. no denials of support from washington or from our military, and i want to echo the review board's praise for the valor and courage of our people on the ground especially the security professionals in benghazi and tripoli. the board said the response saved american lives in realtime and it did. the very next morning i told the american people that heavily-armed militants assaulted our compound.
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and i vowed to bring them to justice. and i stood with president obama in the rose garden as he spoke of an act of terror. it is also important to recall in that same period we were seeing violent attacks on our embassies in cairo, sanaa, tunis, khartoum as well as large protests outside many other posts where thousands of our diplomats served. so i immediately ordered a review of our security posture around the world with particular scrutiny for high-threat posts. i asked the department of defense to join inneragency security assessment teams and to dispatch hundreds of additional marine security guards. i named the first deputy assistant secretary of state for high-threat posts. so missions in dangerous places get the attention they need. and we reached out to congress to help address physical vulnerabilities including risk from tire and
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high hire additional diplomatic security personnel. second, even as we took these steps i hurried to appoint the accountability review board led by ambassador pickering and admiral mullin so we could more fully understand from objective independent examination what went wrong and how to fix it. i have accepted everyone of their recommendations. i asked the deputy secretary for management and resources to lead a task force to insure that all 29 of them are implemented quickly and completely as well as pursuing additional steps above and beyond the recommendations. i also pledged in my letter to you last month that implementation would begin and it has. our task force started by translating the recommendations into 64 specific action items. they were assigned to bureaus and offices with clear time lines for completion. 85% are now on track to be completed by the end of march. a number are already completed and we will use
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this opportunity to take a top to bottom look and rethink how we make decisions, on where, when, and whether people operate in high-threat areas and how we respond to threats and crises. we are initiating an annual high-threat post review chaired by the secretary of state. and ongoing reviews by the deputy secretaries to insure that pivotal questions about do reach the highest levels. we will regularize protocols for sharing information with congress. these are designed to increase the safety of our diplomats and development experts and reduce the chances of another benghazi happening again. we've also been moving forward on a third front, addressing the broader strategic challenge in north africa and the wider region because after all benghazi did not happen in a vacuum. the arab revolutions have scrambled power dynamics and shattered security forces
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across the region. instability in mali has created an expanding safe haven for terrorists who look to extend their influence and plot further attacks of the kind we saw just last week in algeria. and let me offer our deepest condolences to the families of the americans and all the people from many nations who were killed and injured in that recent hostage crisis. we are in close touch with the government of algeria. we stand ready to provide assistance. we're secking to gain a fuller understanding of what took place so we work together with algerians and others to prevent such terrorist attacks in the future. concerns about terrorism and instability in north africa are of course not new. they have been a top priority for the entire administration's national security team but we have been facing a rapidly changing threat environment and we have had to keep working at ways to increase pressure on al qaeda in the
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islamic maghreb and the other terrorist groups in the region. in the first hours and days i conferred with leaders, the president of libya, foreign ministers of tunisia and morocco, and then i had a series of meetings at the united nations general assembly where there was a special meeting focused on mali. i in october i flew to algeria to discuss the fight against aqim. in november i sent deputy secretariry bill burns to follow up in algiers and then in december, in my stead he co-chaired an organization we started to respond to some of these threats. the global counterterrorism forum which was meeting in abu dhabi as well as a meeting in tunis of leaders working to build new democracies and reform security services. we have focused on targeting al qaeda's syndicate of terror, closing safe havens, cutting off finances, countering extremist ideology, and slowof new recruie
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continue to hunt the terrorists responsible for the attacks in benghazi and are determined to bring them to justice. we are using our diplomatic and economic tools to support these emerging democracies and to strengthen security forces and help provide a path away from extremism but let me underscore the importance of the united states continuing to lead in the middle east, in north africa, and around the world. we've come a long way in the past four years and we can not afford to retreat now. when america is absent, especially from unstable environments, there are consequences. extremism takes root, our interests suffer, and our security at home is threatened. that's why i sent chris stevens to benghazi in the first place. nobody knew the dangers better than chris. first during the revolution, then during the transition. a weak libyan government,
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marauding militias, terrorist groups, a bomb exploded in the parking lot of his hotel but he did not waiver because he understood it was critical for america to be represented there at that time. our men and women who serve overseas understand we except a level of risk to protect the country we love. and they represent the best traditions of a bold, and generous nation. they can not work in bunkers and do their jobs. it is our responsibility to make sure they have the resources they need and do everything we can to reduce the risk. foreme this is not just a matter of policy but personal. i stood next to president obama as the marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at andrews. i put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters and the
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wives left alone to raise their children. it has been one of the great honors of my life to lead the men an women of the state department and usaid. 30,000 serving in washington. more than 270 posts around the world. they get up and go to work every day often in difficult and dangerous circumstances because they believe as we believe, the united states is the most ex-extraordinary force for peace and progress the world has ever known. when we suffer tragedies overseas as we have, the number of americans applying to the foreign service actually increases. that tells us everything we need to know what kind of patriots. they do ask what they can do for their country and america is stronger foreit.
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today after four years in this job, traveling nearly a million miles, visiting 112 countries, my faith in our country and our future is stronger than ever. every time that blue and white airplane carrying the words, united states of america touches down in some far-off capitol, i feel again the honor it is to represent the world's indispensable nation and i am confident that with your help we will keep the united states safe, strong, and exceptional. so i want to thank this committee for your partnership and your support of diplomats and development experts. you know the importance of the work they do day in and day out. you know that america's values and vital national security interests are at stake. and i appreciate what ranking member corker just said. it is absolutely critical that this committee and the state department with your new secretary and former
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chairman work together to really understand and address the resources, support, and changes that are needed to face what are increasingly complex threats. i know you share my sense of responsibility and urgency and while we may not agree on everything let's stay focused on what really matters, protecting our people and the country we love. and thank you for the support you personally have given to me over the last four years. i now would be happy to take your questions. >> thank you, madam secretary, for your statement. we have a full committee present. so in order to give each member an opportunity to ask questions in the time frame that we have with the secretary i'm going to limit those questions to five minutes and, i will start off with myself. madam secretary, we saw some late night reporting on discussions about the physical location of mission benghazi. i understand this information came from the
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production of documents by the department which we appreciate your cooperation in providing those documents. my understanding is that the location of mission benghazi was an ongoing one but the ultimate conclusion of many a ambassador stevens was that we needed to be in benghazi, the cradle of the libyan revolution and that while he was continuously reviewing other location options, that it was his conclusion as well as that of security personnel in the department that the current mission site was the best choice despite a higher price tag because it was more secure than returning to the hotel where there had been a bomb and bomb threats or moving closer to the annex because it was closer to the road. can you give us your insights on the decision-making process regarding the location of the mission? and as part of that can you also in your response, you touched upon it in your opening statement, but what actions were you and your
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staff taking the night of september 11th and into september the 12th? >> well, first, you're right, mr. chairman, that there was an ongoing discussion. when chris first landed in benghazi he stayed in a hotel along with other representatives of different nations. there were attacks in the vicinity including in the parking lot of the hotel. the decision was made to move. the compound was selected as being a much better location in terms of security than the alternatives. but there was an ongoing discussion between chris and others in the embassy in tripoli, those going in and out of benghazi, about how best to situate our post there. i did see some overnight reporting about a document, i'm not sure what it is but i would observe that there were a lot of ongoing efforts because it was
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important that we were constantly asking what was the best place. as you said, and in general chris was committed to not only being in benghazi but to the location. the professionals in washington paid close attention to chris's judgment based on his experience and his first-hand knowledge. and so we stayed. we continued to try to upgrade the facility that was attacked. obviously as the arb has pointed out there were inadequacies in the response and those are the specific kinds of recommendations that we are currently implementing. regarding what i was doing on september 11th, i was at the state department all day and late into the night. at the, during most of the day, prior to getting notice
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of the attack on our compound in benghazi, we were very focused on our embassy in cairo. that was under assault by a group of protesters. we were assisting the security of our embassy which is, as though of you who have been there, certainly well-defensed, but there were crowds that were intent upon trying to scale the wall and and we were close communication with our team in cairo. i was notified of the attack shortly after 4:00 p.m. over the following hours we were in continuous meetings and conversations both within the department, with our team in tripoli and with the inneragency and internationally. i instructed our senior department officials and our diplomatic security personnel to consider every option. to just break down the doors of the libyan officials to
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get as much security support as we possibly could to coordinate with them. i spoke to the national security advisor, tom done a londdonalin. i sought possible support from the white house which they quickly provided. tom was my first call. i spoke with our charge in tripoli to get a situation updates. i spoke with former cia director petraeus to secure and coordinate given the presence of his facility which of course was not well-known but something we knew and wanted to make sure we were closely lashed up together. i talked with then libyan national congress president to press him on greater support but not only in benghazi but also in tripoli. i participated in a secure videoconference of senior officials from the
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intelligence community, white house and dod. we were going over every possible option reviewing all that was available to us. any actions we could take. we were reaching out to everyone we could find to try to get an update about ambassador chris stevens. and also our information specialist, sean smith. it was a constant ongoing discussion and sets of meetings. i spoke with president obama later in the evening to bring him up-to-date to hear his perspective. we kept talking with everyone during the night. early in the moning on the 12th i spoke with general dempsey again with tom donalin. two hardest calls i made obviously to the families of ambassador stevens and sean smith.
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i have to say they were extraordinary in their responses an their pride we had in both men and gratitude for their service. i would also quickly, add, mr. chairman, that. we were trying to understand it, and on top of it, we were continuing to face protests, demonstrations, violence across the region and and as far as india and indonesia. there were so many protests happening an thousands of people were putting our facilities at risk. we were certainly woe were relieved when we got the last of the americans out of benghazi. we were turning around with
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very serious threats facing so many of our other facilities. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. senator corker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, i agree with you, when people go into the field to do the things they do, they do it knowing of the risk and i agree with you one of the untold stories here is the heroic nature of many in libya and what they did to save lives. i met several of the jsoc folks and others that risked their lives saving others but i also have to say reading all the cables that many of us have done there were systemic deficiencies. i know you know that i would like for you to just speak to that for a moment. to my knowledge no one has been held accountable. our staff had a meeting with one of the state department officials and i hate to use this word again, but it was nothing short of bizarre as they talked about the communications. these officials were screaming out for more
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security and i'm just wondering if you might mention one reform that would be helpful, so that you would have known of the needs there of security that went undone? >> well, obviously i have thought about this almost constantly since that date, senator, because, you know, i do feel responsibility. i feel responsible for the nearly 70,000 people who work for the state department. i take it very seriously but the specific security requests pertaining to gauze dpauz -- benghazi, were handled by the security professionals in the department. i didn't see those requests. they didn't come to me. i didn't approve them. i didn't deny them. that's obviously one of the findings that ambassador pickering and admiral mullen made. these requests don't ordinarily come from the secretary of state. >> if we could, i respect you tremendously.
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we have a short amount of time. they did come into folks. >> that's right. >> we had sst people on the ground at no cost to the state department. they were asked to be extended by the ambassador. someone at the state department turned that down. they were at no charge, 16 officers. so i just wonder what has happened inside to make sure that never happens again? >> well, several things. not only are we on the path to uply meant all of the ar. about recommendations but we've gone beyond that. we did immediately do this high-threat assessment using dod assets as well as our own. that had never been done before. we have asked the congress to help us reallocate funds. the senate sfaf us that authority. we don't have it from the house. we can get more marine guards. we can get more diplomatic security guards. we can try to put more money into the maintenance, upgrades, construction that is needed.
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i created first-ever, sounds like it should have been done years ago, first deputy assistant secretary for high threats. i'm also recommending that there be a regular process that includes the secretary and the deputies in these decisions because nobody wants to sit where i am and, you know, have to think now about what could have, should have, would have happened in order to avoid this. now as i said we have had 19 arbs. only two have ever been unclassified. the one coming out of the east africa bombings where there was full transparency. there was a set of recommendations. many of which have been implemented along with recommendations from other arbs but this committee never had a public hearing about the 17 other arbs because they were classified. so we're, we're putting into action steps that we think will help the next secretary
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be able to make these decisions, be part of these decisions, have more insight into what is going on, and we would obviously welcome the opportunity to work closely with a subcommittee or a set of members to make sure that's what's happening. >> thank you. this many, 19 or 17 have been done. i will say none of them have been fully implemented. >> senator, that is not accurate. i heard you say that when bill burns and tom nides was here, it shocked me. we went back and did a full and thorough investigation. the vast majority have been implemented and we will give you a report to that effect because that is the kind of, to go back to your point, senator, if there were an authorization process, that is the kind of information that would be shared, and i see my former compatriot on the armed services committee. there
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question seems to me benghazi symbolizes the woeful unpreparedness that our nation had as it relates to issues in north africa. we hope you will address that as you move ahead. >> senator, let me just briefly address what i think is one of the key issues for this committee, for the administration, for our country. when i was here four years ago, testifying for my confirmation, i don't think anybody thought that mubarak would be gone, qaddafi would
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be gone, ben ali would be gone. we would have such revolutionary change in this region. there were hints of it. several of us, you know, said the institutions were sinking in the sand. as i said in doha shortly before tahrir square. so there was some feeling out there but i don't think any of us predicted this, least of all the people in these countries who then were given a chance to chart their own futures. this is a great opportunity as well as a serious threat to our country. i hope we seize the opportunity. it's not going to be easy because these new countries have no experience with democracy. they don't have any real experience of, among the leaders in running countries, in doing security. so, yes, we now face a spreading jihadist threat. we have driven a lot of the
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aq operatives out of the fatah, out of afghanistan, pakistan. killed a lot of them including of course bin lauden but we have to recognize this is a global movement. we can kill leaders but until we help establish strong democratic institutions, until we do a better job communicating our values and building relationships, we'll be faced with this level of instability. and i do have a lot of thoughts what more we can and should do given this new reality we face. >> thank you again. >> senator boxer. >> thank you very much. madam secretary, you have represented our country with tremendous strength and poise. you have won us friend but you have always spoken outs for fully where required. i want to thank you because this is maybe the last time you will come before us as secretary here. i want to thank you for your
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advocacy in behalf of women around the globe. you will be sorely missed but i hope for one not for too long. as you have said, you are heartbroken by those losses in benghazi. we saw it in your face, many times, today as well. you were heartbroken personally and professionally. but rather than pointing to others for their deficiencies you stepped up, and you convened an accountability review board to look into this attack in detail and you asked them to tell it the way they saw it, and i want to give you my take on that board. i want to go to something senator corker said, which i greed with. the first report we got from the intelligence community about a week or so after was very confusing. it was not helpful to us. all of us i think felt that
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way, but i want to speak for myself. the difference between that meeting and the meeting we had with those cochairs which was also a classified briefing, couldn't have been more different. they were so impressive. they were thorough. they were strong. they did call it the way they saw it, the way you wanted them to do and i am grateful that you have unequivocally committed to insuring that their recommendations are implemented to the fullest extent. and this brings me to a question. as we all know, the house of representatives urged and voted for cut of00 million for embassy security -- 300 million. maybe it is irrelevant for some here but i have a message. it does cost money to pay for embassy security, or police on beat, or military personnel, or police here at
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the capitol that protect us, which we're very grateful for and we pay for. it does cost money. to me i was not disappointed to hear the co-chair say, quote, congress must do its part to meet this challenge and provide necessary resources to the state department to address security risks and meet mission imperatives. frankly i think it's a no-brainer. the fact that we would even have a problem with it, to me, doesn't make any sense. i hope we can work together to get the resources that we need for security. which brings me to a question about working more closely with the dod. and hear this. have you already engaged with dod to provide additional marines at u.s. facilities to fulfill the arb's recommendation that state and dod work together
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to provide more capabilities and capacities at higher risk posts? before you answer that, could you maybe address the issue in mali right now. when you look at mali, you see a government that is weak, they don't have the best securities & exchange commission. are we working on that post? >> well, senator, thank you. you've raised a lot of very important issues. i will try to be as quick as i can in responding to them. let me start with the budget because this is a bipartisan issue. since 2007 the department has consistently requested greater funding for embassy construction and diplomatic security. with the exception of 2010, congress has consistently enacted less than requested. most notably in 2012, the department received $340 million less than requested. close to 10% less than the request. and then over the last two years, cuts to embassy construction and security and maintenance budgets were almost 10% off as well. now the arb, as you said,
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has recommended an increase in facilities funding to 2.2 billion per year to restore the construction levels called for in the 1998 arb report. the only other one that was ever public. and i would go back to something the chairman said because this was a point made in the arb. consistent shortfalls have required the department to prioritize available funding out of security accounts. and i will be the first to say that the prioritization process was at times imperfect but as the arb said the funds provided were inadequate. so we need to work together to overcome that. we are asking for funding for, for more marine security guards. for refilling the capital account so we can begin to do the kind of upgrades and construction that's needed. deputy secretary nides briefed house and senate appropriations and authorizing staff. we sent letters to the hours and understand leadership to ask for transfer authority
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language, not new money right now, but transfer authority language. the senate was good enough to put it into the senate version of the sandy supplemental. it did not get into the house side. so we're still looking for the house to act. with respect to mali, senator, there was a country that had been making progress on its deepak civil unfortunately it suffered a military coup by low-rank military officers which threw it into a state of instability. with the taurigs and as you know some gripes were in the employ of qaddafi. he used them as mercenaris. with his fall they came out of libya bringing huge amounts of weapons from enormous stores of weapons that qaddafi had that insurgents liberated as well as others. they came into northern
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mali. at the same time there was a move by al qaeda in the maghreb to establish a base in northern mali. we have been working to try to upgrade security around northern mali among a number of the countries. algeria is the only one with any real ability to do that. most of these countries don't have the capacity to do that. we are now trying to help put together an african force ecowas so african soldiers will be in front of this fight. the malians asked france to come in. obviously france is one of our oldest allies. we're trying to provide support to them. but this is going to be a very serious, ongoing threat because if you look at the size of northern mali, if you look at the topography, it is not only desert but it is caves. sounds reminiscent. we're in for a struggle but
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it is a necessary struggle. we can not permit northern mali to become a safe haven. people say to me all the time, aqim hasn't attacked the united states. well before 9/11, 2001, we hadn't been attacked on our homeland since i guess the war of 1812 and pearl harbor. so you can't say because they haven't done something they're not going to do it. this is not only a terrorist syndicate, it is a criminal enterprise. so make no mistake about it, we've got to have a better strategy. and i would hope we would have not only a strategy that understands, you know, making it possible for these governments to defend themselves better, for to understand and agree with us that these terrorists are not in any way representative of their values but that we can bolster democracy and try to give these arab revolution as real chance to succeed. >> thank you.
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>> senator risch. >> madam secretary, thank you for your service and thank you for the kindness you've shown this committee over the time you've been there. particularly appreciate you're facilitating the meetings at us at the state department with yourself when we had issues. moving to the issues at hand, this morning the national media is reporting that some of the, or a number of the attackers in algeria are people who participated in the attack in benghazi. can you confirm that for us this morning? >> senator, i can not confirm it. i can give you the background that i was able to obtain. this information is coming from the algerian government related to their questioning of certain of the terrorists they took alive. we don't have any way of to confirm it as of yet. i can assure you we will do everything we can to
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determine that. you may know director mueller was just in the region meeting with leaders. he is very well aware we have to track everyone of these connections. this will be a new thread that will be followed. >> i appreciate that. one, only one person has been arrested regarding the attack on benghazi and was then released. can you tell us whether he was one of the people that participated in the algerian attack? >> we have no information to that effect. i think you're referring to the tunisian, who appeared in a tunisian court. upon his release, i called the tunisian prime minister. a few days later director mueller met with the tunisian prime minister. we are assured he is under monitoring of the court. he was released because at that time, and director mueller and i spoke about this at some length. there was not an ability for evidence to be presented yet
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that was capable of being presented in open court. tunisians are assuring us they're keeping an eye on him. i have no reason to believe he is not in tunis but we're checking that all the time. >> thank you. you testified in your prepared remarks quote, very next morning wednesday morning i told the american people heavily armed militants attacked our compound and vow to bring them to justice. i'm assuming you have rock solid evidence to make such a bold statement at that time? >> well, we had four dead people and we had several injured, one seriously who is still in walter reed. and. and although we did not have a chance to meet with any of our returnees, our team in tripoli received them, got medical care and sent them on.
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we nuclearly there was, an attack, heavily armed attack. who these people were, where they came from, why they did it. that was still to be determined. >> i think you probably know where i'm going with this. the next sentence is, and i stood with president obama as he spoke of an act of terror. there has been a lot of debate as to the context that the word terror was used in. be that as it may i want to move to the next sunday morning when ambassador rice went to the morning, sunday morning talk shows.
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picture remains still somewhat complicated. i say that in the unclassified arb, it is, i quote. key questions surrounding the identity actions and motivations of the perpetrators remain to be determined. i recommend that all members and staff read the classified version of the arb which goes into great detail. it goes into greater detail because there were variety of potential causes and triggers for this attack.
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there is evidence that the attacks were deliberate, opportunistic and precoordinated but not necessarily indicative of extensive planning. and, fourth, senator, i would say, that i personally was not focused on talking points. i was focused on is on keeping our people safe. i have a very serious threat environment in yemen. turned out we had people getting over the wall in tie row, doing damage until we got them out. we had a serious threat against our embassy in tunis. i had to call the president of tunisia and beg him to send reinforcements which he did to finally save our embassy which could have been disasterous. they burned and trashed our school. i was pretty occupied about keeping our people safe. doing what needed to be done, in the follow-up to benghazi. i don't really think anybody in the administration was really focused on that so
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much as trying to figure out, you know, what we should be doing. and, you know, i wasn't involved in the talking points process. as i understand it, as i've been told. it was a typical inner agency process where staff, including from the state department, all participated to try to come up with whatever was going to be made. this is a intelligence product and it is my understanding that the intelligence community is working with appropriate committees to explain the whole process. >> my time is up. i gather you still stand by the statement you made less than 24 hours. that heavily armed militants assaulted our compound, and you vowed to bring them to justice. you still stand by it? >> absolutely. >> senator cardin. >> thank you, secretary clinton. first, congratulations. thank you for the
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extraordinary service the past four years as secretary of state >> i also want to thank you for your help in dealing with corruption, particularly with transparency and the progress we've made in that record. benghazi was a tragedy, we've all acknowledged that, the loss of american life, and we've also acknowledged the bravery of those people on the ground. they did extraordinary service, and saved lives and that is what they are trained to do and we want to make sure that we acknowledge that. also, let me just point out that you have been very open with the
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committee. we had a hearing on december 20th with your deputies and they provided all the information, and you're here today, and we thank you very much for that. i want to follow-up on one area of northern africa that you point out the risk factors that we currently have in northern africa. algeria is a reminder of the global security concerns. we do not know, as senator rich pointed out, the individual whoa may have been involved in algeria, we don't know that. we do know there are reports from the united nations and others that weapons have got even from libya into algeria, which points out our need, as we look at transitions occurring in that region, syria, bashar al-assad is not going to be there we think much longer, there are a lot of weapons in syria. do we have a strategy to make sure that as we go through transition in countries that their weapons are -- we are
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mindful that these weapons could end up harming u.s. interests, and it needs to be part of our strategy to make sure as we support alternative governments, and the rebels, that there is a strong priority in protecting the source of these weapons, not ending up harming americans or harming our interests. >> well, senator, you're absolutely right. one of the reasons that we and other government agencies were present in benghazi is exactly that. we had a concerted effort to try to track down and find and recover as many man pads and other very dangerous weapons as possible. libya was a wash in weapons before the revolution. obviously there were additional weapons introduced, but the vast, vast majority came out of
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gadhafi warehouses, and as they were saying liberated and then went on the black market, were seized by militias, seized by other groups, and have made their way out of libya into other countries in the region, and have made their way to syria, we believe. it is a red line for this administration with respect to syria concerning the use of chemical weapons. syria, as you probably know, in addition to having the fourth largest army before this revolution, has a very significant supply of chemical and biological weapons. given the instability in syria right now, what we are trying to do is to coordinate closely with a number of like-minded nations, neighbors and partners to be
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able to work to try to prevent those from falling into the wrong hands, jihaddist hands, hezbollah hands, but also to try to work with the internal opposition for them to understand the dangers that are posed. so this pandora's box, full, of weapons coming out of these countries in the middle east and north africa is the source of one of our biggest threats. there is no doubt that the algerian terrorists had weapons from libya. there is no doubt that the malian recommend tphapblt remnants of aqim have weapons from libya. we have to do a finer job. i think a lot of people at the time wondered why we would have another command in the world and why in africa? i now think we need to pay much
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more attention to afracom, to its capacity inside africa, it's based in germany for all kinds of complicated, logistical and political reasons. tartar hamm has been a dedicated leader of africop during his time there. we will see more and more demands on afracom and i think that is something the house has to address. >> senator rubio. >> madam secretary we all wish that this never happened so this hearing never would have had to happen. we are glad to see you here and wish you all the best. i want to share the sentiments of my other colleagues for the hard work that you've put into this country. i want to know how information flows within the state department, and in particular in hind sight looking forward how
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we can prevent some of this happening. i was curious about a number of things. first of all, were you ever asked to participate in any sort of internal or inner agency meeting before this attack with regard to the deteriorating security situation in libya? >> well, senator, you know, again, i appreciate your kind words, you know, and i reiterate my taking responsibility. and as i have already said, with specific security requests, they didn't come to me, i had no knowledge of them. with regard to the situation in libya, not just eastern libya, across libya, there were a number of conversations, and meetings to try to see what we could do while libya went through this transition from transitional government to interim government to election toss try to get in there and help them with security, because it was clear that that was going to be one of their highest needs once they finally got
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stabilized. so there were a number of meetings. and i personally, i went to libya in october of 2011. i spoke with the then leadership, i met with them in international settings. we sent teams out, both civilian and military experts to try to help them. until recently, while they were going through their transitions it was a very difficult conversation because they didn't have, you know, the authority they thought. but now we're beginning and we have a long list of ways that we're trying to help improve security in libya. >> for example the october 2011 meeting at that meeting did this issue come up with regards to the inability of the libyan government to protect our institutions. did that come up at all in that conversation? >> we obviously talked a great deal about the deteriorating threat environment in libya. one of the reasons we had our
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own people on the ground, and why we were looking to try to figure out how to better protect benghazi, and how to have understandings with those in the annex is because it's a host country responsibility, but, you know, they were not in a position to do what we would expect from an organized country. but they did have the militias, and the february 17th brigade had proven to be responsive in the past, prior to 9/11. other militias in tripoli had proven to be responsive. when i landed in tripoli i was met by the zinton militia. that was the welcome i had. all these guys dressed completely in black holding automatic weapons. that was my welcoming party. we knew we were piecing together what a host nation was not yet able to do. >> then there was another meeting on march, 2012, just to
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be clear, in october 2011, then again in march of 2012 i believe that was here with the prime minister and neither one of these meetings was there a specific conversation between you and them with regards to concerns that we had that -- not just the deteriorating security situation but the inability of them as a host country to meet their obligations to provide security? >> of course. >> there was a conversation? >> absolutely. i mean this was a constant conversation, senator. and what i found with the libyans was willingness but not capacity. you know, in taoupb tunis a, you know they had capacity but i had to call and tell them to get that capacity out there. they are trying to figure out how to be a state without being a security state. with cairo we had to call and tell the egyptians, get your people out there. with libya it was different. the libyans were very responsive, very willing but no
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levers to pull. what we've been trying to do, and we need your help to help us pay for what we are trying to do, we are trying to help them build a descent security force to try to reign in the militias as best they can. this was a constant conversation. >> before the attack in benghazi what had we done to help them build their security capacity? >> there is a long list and i'll be happy to provide that to you because it is filled with, you know, training, with equipment, with the kind of planning that they had not done before, and i'd be happy to send you the detail on that, senator. >> senator casey. >> madam secretary, thank you for being here today to provide this testimony. i'm going to ask you a question that relates to the implementation of the accountability review board recommendations. but before i do that i want to express what i think is a widely shared sentiment today, both by
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way of gratitude and commendation for your work. we don't have time today to do a full listing of all the achievements that you should get credit for, but i'll mention maybe two or three in light of the work that you've done and some of the work we've done together. the terribly difficult challenge in dealing with and reducing the flow of calcium ammonium nitrate from pakistan into afghanistan which finds its way into the roadside bombs that will our troops, known more popular lee as ieds. i want to thank you for that work. the work mentioned by senator boxer and others on behalf of women throughout the world, but also women and girls particularly in afghanistan. and maybe thirdly even though we are still in the throes of responding to the challenge in syria, the great work that
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you've done on humanitarian assistance and other elements of that strategy that we've worked together on. also i want to commend not just the approach but the words you spoke today about not retrenching, not retreating when it comes to getting that balance right between engagement and also security, both high priorities. i was struck by, and i'm glad you were so specific on page 3 of our testimony, about the specifics on implementation. 29 recommendations by the board, which now has found its way into -- i should say, which now is a set of 64 specific action items. you said in your testimony quote, 85% are on track to be completed by the end of march with a number completed already. i guess i ask you one question
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about that and then one follow-up. what if any impediments to implementation to you perceive right now and there are impediments to meeting those deadlines that this committee and the congress can help you by way of meeting that deadline and implementation? >> thank you, senator, and let me thank you for those three topics you covered, and particularly your very clear focus on the ied problem and the ammonium nitrate problem in pakistan. you and i have talked about this. you've gone there, i've gone there and carried that message, and i thank you for making it an issue. let me say that we need your help, we need your help number one to hold us accountable, you know, to keep asking whoever sits in this chair or anybody else in the department with any responsibility in this area, what are you doing, and how are you doing it? it will help to clear up
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misconceptions, like our recommendations have been fully epl phra meanted, which i know is not the case. it will keep driving the change. i really believe that an authorization process will dramatically change the dynamic. and i strongly urge it be tried. again i go back to my armed services committee experience with senator mccain over those years. we had subcommittees, we took it very seriously. we held hearings, we brought people in. we had a three-day mark up that was sacrosanct. but we also had the qdr, where the defense department submitted that and it helped to provide a framework. so when i got to the state department i said, there is nothing like that at the state department. so i started the first ever
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quadrenal diplomacy review. you can help me and make the department ask the hard questions if you legislate it the way the qdr is legislated for the defense department. secondly you can help by making sure that the need we come to you with, like what are the training needs, the budgetary needs, the bureaucrat particular changes that arbureau bureaucratic changes that are needed, that you help support that. certainly we talked a little bit about the budget. getting that transfer authority if you can help us with the house it's 1.4 billion, marine security guard detachment, $553 million. we've been closely coordinating with dod, historically marine security guards do not do personal security, they only do protection of classified materials. so we're working through what the guards will do and how we can use more of them. secondly, more diplomatic security personnel, $130 million, that would fund an
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additional 155df personnel and related equipment and facility upgrades $736 million. we are going to have periodic reviews by these teams i started, the defense state inner agency security assessment teams. we will start a high post review by the secretary, which has not happened before. we are going to strengthen the mutual security agreements between the state department and other government agencies when they are not co-located -fpblt we had a very good relationship with the annex in benghazi. we helped them, they helped us, but there wasn't anything that was -- it was more on the groundworking together, it wasn't part of an overall template. there is a lot that i think we can take from this. because i told ambassador pickering and admiral mullen, put it out there. i want to know more than anybody
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what happened. don't hold any punches. tell us what the facts are. but now we have to act on it or shame on us. >> thank you very much. senator johnson. >> thank you mr. chairman and madam secretary i'd like to join my colleagues in thanking you for your service sincerely and we appreciate the fact that you're here testifying and glad that you're looking in good health. >> thank you. >> were you fully aware in realtime. i realize how big your job is and everything is erupting in the middle east at this time. were you fully aware of the 20 interests that were reported in the arb in realtime? >> i was aware of the ones that were brought to my attention. they were part of our on going discussion about the deteriorating threat environment in eastern libya. we certainly were very conscious of them. i was assured by our security professionals that repairs were
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underway, additional security upgrades had taken place. >> thank you. did you see personally the cable on i believe it's august 12th specifically asking for basically reinforcements for the security detail that was going to be evacuating, or leaving in august? did you see that, personally? >> no, sir. >> okay. when you read the arb, it strikes me as how certain the people were that the attacks started at 9:40 benghazi time. when was the first time you spoke, or have you ever spoken to the returnees, the evacuees, did you personally speak to those folks? >> i've spoken to one ever them, but i waited until after the arb had done its investigation because i did not want there to be anybody raising any issue that i had spoken to anyone before the arb conducted its investigation. >> how many people were evacuated from libya? >> well, you -- the numbers are a little bit hard to pin down
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because of our other -- >> approximately. >> approximately 25 to 30. >> did anybody in the state department talk to those folks very shortly afterwards? >> there was discussion going on afterwards, but once the investigation started the f.b.i. spoke to them before we spoke to them, and so other than our people in tripoli, which i think you're talking about washington, right? >> yes, the point i'm making is a very simple phone call to these individuals i think would have ascertained immediately that there was no protest prior to this. i mean this attack started at 9:40pm benghazi time and it was an assault. and i appreciate the fact that you called it an assault i'm gon ambassador rice five days later going on sunday shows and what i would say purposely misleading the american public. why wasn't that known, and, again, i appreciate the fact of the transparency of this hearing, but why weren't we
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transparent at that point in time? >> first of all, senator, would i say that once the assault happened, and once we got our people rescued and out, our most immediate concern was number one taking care of their injuries. as i said i still have a ds agent at walter reed seriously injured, getting them into frankfurt to get taken care of. the f.b.i. going over immediately to start talking to them. we did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the f.b.i. conducted their interviews. and we did not -- i think this is accurate, sir, i certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the ic talking points at the time that ambassador rice went on the tv shows. and, you know, i just want to say that, you know, people have accused ambassador rice, and the administration of misleading americans.
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i can say, trying to be in the middle of this and understanding what was going on nothing could be further from the truth. was information developing? was the situation fluid? would we reach conclusions later that weren't reached initially and i appreciate -- >> madam secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to thoseee evacuat evacuees to determine what happened wouldn't have arrests taeupbd immediately that there was no protest? that was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained within hours if not days. >> senator, you know, when you're in these positions the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on. >> i realize that that is a good excuse. >> well, no it's a fact. number two, i would recommend highly you read both what the arb said about it and the classified arb, because even today there are questions being raised. now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants. they attacked us, they killed
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our people, but what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing. >> no, no, no, no, again, again, we were mislead that there were supposedly protests and something sprang out of that, an assault sprang out of that, and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact and the american people could have known that within days and they can't are didn't know that. >> with all due respect the fact is we had four dead americans. >> i understand. >> was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided to go kill americans. what difference at this point does it make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. now honestly, i will do my best to answer your questions about this. but the fact is that people were trying in realtime to get to the best information. the ic has a process i understand going with the other committees to explain how these talking points came out, but, you know, to be clear, it is
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from my perspective less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we'll figure out what was going on in the meantime. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> senator sheen. thank you secretary clinton. i want to echo my colleagues for your service. i want to thank you for taking responsibility for what happened there, for initiating an investigation so we could find out what happened. for initiating things for high-risk areas and all our efforts towards the accountability review report, thank you, that is the kind of leadership we want to see across our government. i want to first go back to what i thought you said about still
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looking for the funding to be transferred, the 1.3 billion -- >> 4. >> 4 billion from the account to address the security threats not just in libya but around the world. do i understand that we still have not had that money transferred so that means that the 553 million, the 130 million for diplomatic security, the 691 million for security installations that is all on hold and we can't move forward until that has been approved by the house? well now we have to start over because it was in the senate version of sandy. it was not put into the senate -- the house version of sandy. so, no, we cannot -- we cannot move money we already have to address the need and deficiencies that the arb has recommended we do. >> well, i would just echo the
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comments that have been made already by this committee, and by you, that this is action that we need to get moving on immediately, because we still have people at risk around the world, and we need to take the action that is going to insure their security. so, i would certainly urge the chairman and the ranking member to move the committee to do everything we can to make this happen. i want to go back to something that secretary nied said at the hearing on september 20th. because i asked him about the cooperation between the department of defense and what the situation was on the ground before the benghazi attack, in terms of the placement of our military in the region. he talked about the unprecedented cooperation between state and defense in response to benghazi. but i wonder if you could talk
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about how we insure that this is a standard way of doing business, and that we're acting in cooperation when we are looking at the threats facing us, particularly as we look at what's happening in northern africa, and across the middle east. >> senator, that is a really important and timely question, because certainly our cooperation around this crisis was exemplary. you know, the president told the secretary, and the chairman to do everything they possibly could, to spare no effort or resource, and we had a very good inner agency response as the arb found. the fact is we have to look closely now as what the state and dod can do together to prepare for contingencies such as this. and i think it's a challenge that needs to be taken up, because in iraq and now in
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afghanistan our diplomats and military work close together. as we saw in iraq when the military left that was putting a lot of burdens on our civilians in iraq that are very difficult for us to address, because we relied on our dod colleagues for so much. similarly as we are starting to look at the drawdown in afghanistan what kind of civilian presence are we going to be able to leave there and what can dod do to help us to try to determine what that can and should be? i think you get a sense of the challenge of this from a statement that admiral mullen made, he said and i quote, on the night of the attacks, benghazi, tripoli and washington communicated and coordinated effectively with each other. they looped in the military right away. the response was appropriate. there was not enough time for u.s. military forces to have made a difference.
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add having said that, admiral mullen goes on it is not feasible or reasonable to tether forces at the ready i to protect every high-risk place in the world. we have to look at this from the dod perspective and we don't have assets of any significance right now on the african continents. we are only building that up. and so what do we need in africa, what countries will welcome us there, give us both our military and civilian teams a good, safe base out of which to operate, so if we're focusing just on africa, and particularly north africa right now, there's got to be a great deal of planning and coordination between dod and africom, and between the state department and the rest of the administration. >> thank you. >> senator flake. >> thank you, madam secretary, thank you for your testimony and also thank you as others have
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said for yours service. traveling over a million miles and more than a hundred countries, i think those who -- those of us who haven't i don't cannot appreciate how difficult that is and the commitment that you've had to it over the years, and i thank you. with regard to the appearance of dr. rice on the morning shows you mentioned that you did not select her. were you consulted in that decision? >> no. it would not be in anyway unusual for ambassador rice to represent the administration on a foreign relations issue. >> right, i don't think it was either. but afterwards, after she testified it was clear that what she testified to was at variance with a lot of communications from the state department, and a lot of the -- a lot of the information that had been gathered, and things that had been said by yourself and others at the state department. can you just enlighten us a bit
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as to discussion has went on at the state department after that testimony? i mean these are professionals that you oversee who do a lot of hard work to give analysis and this kind of assessment. what she said was clearly at variance with a lot of the research and analysis that had gone on about the nature of these attacks. can you just enlighten us as to discussion, what discussions were had at the state department after this testimony? >> well, i don't think -- i cannot speak to any conversation i specifically had, because the conversations were on going before and after ambassador rice' appearance on the sunday talk shows. and we did not conclude finally that there were no protests at all until days after the attack.
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so maybe it was an abundance of caution, maybe it was trying to make sure we didn't step on anybody's toes while we were gathering information. maybe it's because the ic was still looking at all of their sources, and having different thread coming in, but, you know, as the arb said, even today the motivations, the actions before they went on to the compound, all of that is still not nailed down. so i think we were trying very hard to provide information, maybe one of the lessons learned here is, you know, just withhold, don't say what you don't know for sure until it's finally decided. but that is not part of who we are as americans and as public officials. we get out there we say, here is what we think happened, it's subject to change, and so i think we all wished that nobody had ever in anyway raised doubt, but certainly ambassador rice
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and all the other administration officials were speaking off of what had been determined were the most acceptable talking points. >> well, i think we know now that the talking points we don't exactly know where they were changed or how they were changed, but they were changed or altered, and i think that we can all concede that we were not given a clear picture of what went on. >> but, senator, you know, we didn't have a clear picture. i wish i could sit here today and tell you that within days, within a week, by september 20th when we came up here we had a clear picture. we did not have a clear picture. and that -- you know if you wish to fault the administration it is that we didn't have a clear picture, and we probably didn't do as clear a job explaining that we did not have a clear picture until days later creating what i think are legitimate questions.
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you know, i understand, aoeufr been on the other side of the table, i understand trying to figure out what was going on, and why we were told this. that and the other. i can only assure you that as the information came to light, and as people thought it was reliable we shared it, but that took some time. >> thank you. the remaining second left, you mentioned that many of the recommendations have now been put in place, there are protocols in place to make sure that if security is not adequate that we move our diplomats and others to places where they are more secure, or whatever, but let me just say, there were protocols in place before this. there were trip wires that we tripped, and the actions that were outlined to be taken were not taken. how can we be assured here that the new protocols that are in place with these new recommendations being implemented will be followed or adhered to? because they clearly weren't before. >> well, senator, i want to make
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clear that no one in the state department, the intelligence community, any other agency ever recommended that we close benghazi. we were clear eyed about the threats and dangers as they were developing in eastern libya and in benghazi. but there was no decision made and nothing that prompted such a decision. now sitting here today we have probably at least 20 other posts that are under a serious threat environment as i speak to you. we are working with the other agencies in our government, some of whom are colocated with us, others ever whom are nearby, we are constantly assessing. and sometimes we get it wrong.
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but it's rare that we get it wrong. this was one of those terrible, tragic times when, you know, there was an assessment shared by the ambassador, shared by others, that turned out not to take into account the militants attacking that night. so, i can tell you there are, as you say, trip wires, but what we're going to try to do is elevate the discussion and the decision making so that there is not any doubt that everybody is on the same page, that we are not missing information, we are not husband banding resources and making less than optimal decisions. that's what we are going to try to institution in a hraoeuz going forward. >> thank you. senator coons. >> i want to thank senator ma den tkez to chair this important hearing and thank you, secretary clinton for receiving today. you were unable to appear before
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due to your illness. i see you've made a remarkable recovery. i want to thank you for one much the many stops you've traveled and one of the countries we visited was a trip we shared jointly to like bee liberia. it gave me as a tpwrerb man senatofreshman senator to see your remarkable skills. you built bridges with our international partners, and on the hill where your leadership is respected on both side of the aisle and has been praised. while senator kerry has my full confidence you will be missed. you want to leave our country, safer, stronger and more secure, and in my view because of your leadership we are. today we continue the considerations of the advisory review board which found that security was quote, gross lee
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inadequate to deal with the attack that took place in benghazi in september. the mistakes that were made are simply unacceptable, and i'm pleased that the state department has begun to promptly implement the board's recommendations thanks to your leadership. i know you agree that the massive security failure such as those witnessed in benghazi that cost the lives of four brave americans simply cannot happen again and i look forward to working with my colleagues on this committee in a searching review of the resources needed and the state department structure to insure that we do better to protect our diplomats and other americans who put their lives at risk each and every day. as chairman of the africa subcommittee i'm particularly pleased that you have drawn for this committee today in you're testimony the links between this tragic incident in benghazi, the recent terrorist incident in algeria and the unfolding challenges in mali. i chaired a hearing on m december 5th and have been eup impressed with your engaged
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leadership, visits to alger yeah, raising the alarm as to the aqim. how you see the regional threats and how you see the cons questions hess of this recent incident in algeria, and what role you see for the united states in supporting the current actions by the french and malian military and the need for our on going insurance, investment to restore democracy in mali, to restore a development and some positive prospects moving forward for the people of mali and how you think we can insure that state and defense are coordinating through africom in west and north africa going forward. >> senator i appreciate greatly your sustained attention to africa, and i think it's going to be viewed as quite prophetic, because there will be, i believe, a continuing set of challenges. you mentioned some of them, but
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by no means dash we've got bocaharam, causing instability to one of the biggest oil producing nations in the world. we've got other unrest and challenges coming down the west coast of africa. we also have a success story, at least a hoped for beginning success story in somalia. what did the united states do there? you know, when i became secretary of state i recommitted american money to the amasom forces. we worked to train them. we worked with the kenyans when they went in. we worked with the jabudis. it took time. there were no short cuts but we had literally the boots of our american soldiers and diplomats on the ground. i visited one of the training
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camps in uganda, and what we have to do is recognize we're in for a long term struggle here, and that means we've got to pay attention to places that historically we have not chosen to or had to. so i would hope that this committee can make that case to the rest of the congress. we are now looking at, you know, troops coming from other neighboring african countries. we can't just send them into mali, they don't have training to do that. we are going to have to work with other partners to train them, and equip them, and then to sustain them, just like we did with the troops in somalia. so, you know, four years ago al shabab was one of the biggest threats to not only east africa but to the united states. we have a chance to really continue on a positive track there, but it didn't happen by accident, it took american money, american know how, american experience and we have
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to make the decision we're going to do the same in north africa as well. >> thank you, madam secretary, i i certainly look to getting your advice, direction and eve encouragement to get the success going forward. >> thank you madam secretary. it's wonderful to see you in good health and as combative as ever. [laughter] >> we thank you. we thank you for your outstanding and dedicated service to this nation and we are proud of you. all over the world where i travel you are viewed with admiration and respect. months after the benghazi tragedy, it's a tragedy when we lose four brave americans, there are many questions that are unanswered. and the answers, frankly that you've given this morning are
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not satisfactory to me. were you and the president made aware of the classified cable from chris stevens that said that the united states consulate in benghazi could not survive a sustained assault. numerous warnings, including personally to me about the security were unanswered, or unaddressed. it took a cnn reporter looking through the consulate to find chris stevens last warning. when were you made aware of that cable? when were you made aware of the attack on the british ambassador and the assassination attempts, and the closing of the consulates there? and what actions were taken? what was the president's activities during that seven-hour period? on the anniversary of the worst attack in american history, september 11th we didn't have department of defense forces available for seven hours.
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two brave americans died in the last hour. with all these warnings, all these things in place we didn't have a single department of defense asset apparently available to come to their rescue. i categorically reject your answer to senator johnson about, well we didn't ask these survivors who were flown to ramstein the next day, that they -- that this was not a spontaneous demonstration. to say it's because an investigation was going on? the american people deserve to know answers, and they certainly don't deserve fall false answers. and the answers that were given to the american people on september 15th by the ambassador to the united nations were false. in fact contradicted by the classified information which was kept out of the secretary to the united nations report who by the
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way in the president's words had nothing to do with benghazi, which questions why she was sent out to start with. why is it that the administration still refuses to provide the full text of emails regarding the today lesion of references to al-qaida and terrorism in the talking points? why do we care? because if the classified information had been included it gives an entirely different version of events to the american people. going to the american people and tell them what happened, then you ought to have your facts straight, including the ambassador said, quote, al-qaida is decimated, and our consulates and embassies are secure. so, here we are four months later, and we still don't have the basic information. if you want to go out and tell the american people what happened you should at least have interviewed the people who
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were there, instead of saying, no we couldn't talk to them because a f.b.i. investigation was going on. and by the way, as i said at the time, i just happened to be on one of those talk shows, people don't bring rpg's and mortars to spontaneous demonstrations, that is a fundamental. the president continued to say days afterwards, september the 12th he made a reference to act of terror. september 12th on 60 minutes too early to know. september 20th on u.n. i vision we are still doing an investigation. september 24th on the view, we are still doing and investigation. the president of the united states as late as september 24th, two weeks later, did not acknowledge that this was an act of terror conducted by people who were at least somehow connected to the al-qaida. finally, madam secretary, i
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strongly disagree with your depiction of what we did after gadhafi fell. we did not provide the security that was needed. we did not help them with border security. we did not give them the kind of assistance that would have been necessary to help dismantle these militias that still to this day remain a challenge to democracy in libya, and freedom. you knew chris stevens very well, i knew him very well. i knew him on july 7th when i went to libya to observe the elections, and at that time on july 7th he expressed to me his deep and grave concerns about security, particularly in benghazi. and he continued to communicate with the state department, and i don't know who else was privy to those cables of his deep concern about the security there and the need for additional assistance. and i will argue with facts,
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that after that event took place, after the fall of gadhafi the quote soft footprint was partially to some degree responsible for the tragedy that took place. the american people, and the families of these four brave americans still have not go got gotten the answers that they deserve. i hope that they will get them. >> well, senator i understand your very, very strong feelings, you knew chris, you were a friend of chris, you were one ever the staunchest supporters of the efforts to dislodge gadhafi and try to give the libyan people a chance, and we just have a disagreement. we have a disagreement about what did happen, and when it happened with respect to explaining the sequence of events. we did get to talk to the ds
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agents when they got back to this country. we did so. it was not before september 15th, we had no access to the surveillance cameras for weeks, which helped to answer a number of questions. but with respect to helping the libyans, and that also goes to the question senator rubio asked, we will provide a list of everything we were doing, and were a tenth tog do, but i will also tell you that since marc march 202011 congressional hold have been place owned programs for many months for aid to libya. we've had frequent congressional complaints, why are we doing anything for libya, it's a wealthy country. it has oil. disagreements from some sources that we tphud neve should never have been part of any u.n. mission in libya. currently the house has hold on
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bilateral security assistance, on other kinds of support, for antiterrorism assistance. so we've got to get our act together between the administration and the congress. if this is a priority, and if we are serious about trying to help this government step up security and deal with what is a very dangerous environment from east to west then we have to work together. so, i hope that we can have the kind of discussion where we can agree on certain approaches that will make a difference. and, again, i would urge that you look and read both the classified and unclassified versions of the arb, that tries to deal with the very questions that you and senator johnson are raising, the timing of it, and the like. but i also hope we are looking forward. because right now libya is still dangerous, it is still in a very unstable at that time tuesday,
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and whatever we can do for them we at least ought to agree we need to do and get out there and start delivering. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> madam secretary i want to honor our commitment to you to try to keep you within a certain timeframe knowing you have to go before the house. i appreciate your very thorough and thoughtful answers, to some degree you will dictate your own timeframe, so with that senator durbin. >> madam secretary, thank you for being here. it was a little more than four years ago that a number of your colleagues, myself included, encouraged you to take on this responsibility, believing you would have a profound impact on the world and on the diplomacy of the unitessed states and you have. hang you so much for all you've done. i want to say a word on before behalf of ambassador rice, an extraordinary individual who has served this country well. i think some of the criticism that was heaped on her was
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unfair, and did not reflect the fact that she was reporting the best information she had available at the time. and as you've said, more information became available, and it was dut dutifully reported. i do want to make one point for the record here about whether the american people are told everything, right away, in the right way so that they can be fully informed and i'd like to refer to five words for them to reflect on, iraqi weapons of mass destruction. we were told by every level of government here there were iraqi weapons of mass destruction that justified a war. the invasion of the united states. we are still searching for those weapons. they didn't exist. thousands of americans lost their lives. we can have a hearing on that if you'd like.
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the point i'm trying to get to is, two extraordinarily talented individuals, admiral pheupbl, anmullin and ambassador bickering did a thorough review here, found shortcomings in our protection of our people overseas and reported them honestly. you not only initiated that review, you accepted its findings in its totality, no cover up, an attempt to be totally honest and to make sure a tragedy like this never occurs again. the second point i'd like to make is this. some on the committee have already criticized the notion that this is about money. they might argue, you can't solve a problem by throwing money at it. madam secretary, you can't solve a problem by throwing money at it, unless the pob is lack of money. what i under you to testify is you have asked this congress for the authority to transfer existing funds to protect
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ambassadors and diplomatic personnel around the world and you have been refused by the house of representatives. they will not give you the authority to even take existing funds. if i'm not mistaken in a few weeks your department will facey questions tracing, and we not only won't have additional funds, we will cut some $50 million when it comes to construction of facilities to protect people who represent the united states overseas. and cut money for the individuals necessary to protect those same diplomats. so i'd like you to comment, how can we keep our commitment to be a leader in the world in the area of diplomacy and state craft to avoid the necessity of war if we don't give the most basic resources to your department, which commands, ace understand it, about 1.5% of the federal budget? >> actually it's less than 1,
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but let's not quibble. look, i am well aware that there are deficiencies and inadequacies in the department. i went about doing what i could in the four years i had through the qddr process, through creating some additional incentives, and changes in culture to try to assist everybody in the state department and usaid to do as much as they could with whatever they had, you know, because -- you know, we were never going to reach parity with the defense department, we were always going to be 1 pace 12th or less -frt budget. that's fine. but we do what we k. at the same time we have asked for the funds that we think we need to be able to fulfill the mission you have described, senator durbin. and we need the help of this

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